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Meghalaya uranium mining plan rejected

 NEW DELHI, May 14 (IANS): The Environment Ministry today rejected a proposal of the Department of Atomic Energy to mine for uranium in Meghalaya’s Balphakram National Park following opposition from local people who contended it will affect the ecosystem.

The decision was taken at the standing committee meeting of the National Board on Wildlife (NBW) chaired by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh here.

“After a detailed discussion, the board decided to reject the proposal for exploratory drilling for uranium in Rongcheng Plateau in Balphakram National Park in South Garo Hills district of the State,” said Ramesh.

The board took this decision keeping in view the sentiments of the local people and a number of representations received from local civil society groups, he added.

The board also decided to press the State Government to immediately ban all mining and road construction activities within the park area; strict regulation of all coal mines in the district and implementation of proper mining plans to ensure that local people avail the greatest benefit.

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